Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
What is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring?
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is a non-invasive method of obtaining blood pressure readings over a 24-hour period, while the patient continues with their normal daily activities. The machine takes blood pressure readings at regular intervals throughout the day: usually, every 15-30 minutes during the daytime and 30-60 minutes at night.
Reasons Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring may be done:
- By measuring your blood pressure at regular intervals over 24 hours, your doctor is able to get clear pictures of how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. As well as a clear picture of how your blood pressure reacts with your current medications.
Is there any special prep needed prior to applying an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor?
- A top with loose short sleeves will best accommodate the cuff.
- You may wish to shower or bath prior to your appointment as the monitor needs to be worn continually for 24 hours.
- Please bring a list of all current medication.
What can I expect during the procedure?
- A blood pressure cuff will be fitted to your upper arm. The cuff is attached to a digital machine that will record your pressure throughout the 24 hour period.
- The digital machine will be placed in a case and can be worn on a belt or on your shoulder as a cross body purse. It is small enough to continue with your daily activities.
- The tech will also go over the diary you will be asked to keep of your day's activities, so your doctor will know when you were active and when you were resting.
- You will also be given a time to return the following day to return your monitor.
- To allow the machine to work properly, when the machine starts to get tight on your arm, stop what you are doing and relax your arm. When the pressure is released on the cuff, record the time and your activity in your diary. If the machine does not get a good reading it may reset itself and try again.
- When sleeping, you can keep the monitor at your side in bed. The blood pressure cuff must remain on your arm while you are sleeping.
What happens after you return your monitor?
- Once your monitor is returned, the information is downloaded and a report is formulated. The report along with your diary is sent to your doctor for follow-up.